Courtesy Dan Thrasher @ Dayton Daily News
Like many bands, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, performing at Hobart Arena in Troy on Sunday, Sept. 12, were on the road in March 2020. The coronavirus changed everything.
“We were active from the end of January 2020 right up until the middle of March,” Thorogood said. “We started in New Zealand and ended up in Mississippi. That’s a lot of travel. We had work scheduled all across the continent and Canada. Then the lockdown came, which was the smart thing to do, and we had to put everything on hold for a while. You know, safety first. You’ve got to get the planet healthy before we can start rocking.”
Thorogood says he was occupied with some unspecified personal issues during last year’s shutdowns, which distracted him from creating new music.
“I’m still in the process of taking care of some things but that allowed me time to do that,” he said. “As far as creativity, I’m not a Paul McCartney or a Bob Dylan by any stretch of the imagination. Something creative usually just hits me. I don’t say, ‘OK, today I’m going to write a song.’ That’s a talent in its own self. Something might hit me and I’ll say, ‘That might be a good idea of something to do.’ But with what’s going on, I really didn’t have time for that sort of thing.”
Thorogood formed the first version of his blues rock band the Destroyers in Delaware in 1973. Rounder Records released the group’s self-titled debut three years later. While there have been ups and downs, the band has continued to record and tour. After releasing projects on EMI and Capitol Records, Thorogood returned to Rounder in 2015.
While there wasn’t time for new music during the COVID shutdowns, Thorogood did have one new release in 2020. Craft Recordings released “Live In Boston, 1982: The Complete Concert” in December. It was his first offering since Rounder released “Party of One” in 2017.
“We have this live thing going and it seems to be doing pretty good,” Thorogood said. “I’ve got to take time out and listen to it one of these days. I’ve been pretty busy. I’ve got to wash my socks and all that fun stuff, but one of these days they’ll tie me to a chair and make me listen to that sucker.”
“I’m always a little rusty when we start out, no matter what the situation is,” he said. “We’ve had stretches off in the past for a year-and-a-half. Some of the cats keep active with their chops, whereas our drummer and myself, we kind of back off when we’re not touring. Then, I found some cats in Southern California and we jammed so I could get my chops up to snuff. We actually did a private party and that helped.”
While he’s enjoying his time back on the road with the band, Thorogood admits it’s quite different than pre-pandemic touring.
“There’s absolutely nothing normal about any of this,” he said. “As we move from state to state and town to town, the venues are different everywhere, but the fan response and turnout is pretty consistent and that’s what’s important.
“There might be a little bit of an extra edge due to the lockdown and everything but it is pretty much business as usual,” Thorogood added. “We’re very fortunate the fans we have are very exuberant people and their enthusiasm has never waned over the years.”